The Lovely Lori H invited us to go strawberry-picking this week. Hood strawberries are ready and they are delicious! I think this description of the little beauties says it all:
“The reason I love summer in Oregon can be summed up in two words: Hood strawberries. This is the strawberry that all other strawberries aspire to be. Their flavor is so intensely sweet and luscious it might cause you to wonder why have you wasted your tastebuds on those rubbery, bland, pseudo-strawberries from elsewhere.” (Lisa Sedlar, President, New Seasons Market)
The season for Hood strawberries is short, so it was important we go right away to get them at their best. Fortunately, there’s a u-pick field nearby (in Boring) and they opened their fields Wednesday. (There are so few u-pick fields around anymore; not sure why. And geez, what I would have given to NOT have u-pick fields everywhere 30+ years ago.)
Yesterday Sonya (Victor’s sister), Julianne and Jacob (her kids) joined us to gather up a feast’s worth of berries. It didn’t take too long, which is a good thing, because conversation in our group was quickly taking a downhill turn by the time we were done. Lori was quite sure the word “scrotum” had never been uttered so many times in a strawberry field. She also suggested that, along with pre-weighing our containers, they should have pre-weighed our kids—Parker really, really likes fresh strawberries and Riley really, really liked to announce to the field whenever he ate one. Katie and Jack mostly just screamed about the ones shaped like butts and kept asking why we were there because they don’t even like strawberries, even though neither of them has ever tried one. And Jake demonstrated some fine strawberry throwing techniques, which Jack immediately tried to imitate. It looks like next fall will be spent un-learning all the naughty habits Jacob plans to share with his young, impressionable cousin this summer.
Lori got busy cleaning up her berries and made batches of jam yesterday afternoon. I was not quite so ambitious; my back hurt from all that bending and crawling through the rows so I waited until today to get to ours. This morning I filled a huge bowl with de-stemmed berries and now they’re just waiting to be dealt with. I’m thinking strawberry shortcake, using Sherilee’s shared recipe, and milkshakes for sure. I’ll probably freeze quite a few too. But for starters, I ate a handful with some whipped cream. Nummers.